Taking just a few simple steps at the beginning of a property search could save tenants a lot of stress and money.

Based on data recently released by ARLA two thirds of renters do not take into ARLA-Licensed-Officeconsideration if their landlord or letting agent is licensed. An alarming 1 in renters 10 wrongly assuming that all letting agents and landlords are licensed when in fact some do operate without complying with a voluntary redress scheme.

Although it is still legal to work unlicensed, an unlicensed agent is not bound to adhere to strict codes of conduct as set out by The Property Ombudsman and The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

ThePropertyOmbudsmanMackenzie Smith Lettings and Management are licensed by ARLA, registered with The Property Ombudsman and members of the Tenants Deposit Scheme.

Consider the simple tips below when choosing a property to let as it could save time, money and reduce stress.

Make sure the agent marketing the property is a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) This means they have to meet minimum standards and have systems in place in the unlikely event that there is a problem during the tenancy.

Ask which Government backed scheme the agent uses to register your security deposiTenants Deposit Scheme Membert and ask to see the information provided by the scheme. That way you know your deposit is protected and how to proceed should there be a disagreement at the end of the tenancy.

Who will be conducting the inventory check in? It is always best to have this carried out by a qualified independent inventory clerk.

Does the agent manage the property or does the landlord. If it is the landlord ask if they live locally. After all if they are responsible for repairs it would be useful to know where they live.

Always report any repairs as soon as possible. Leaving it until 6Michael Clarke MARLA Letting Agentpm on a Friday does not give the agent or landlord much scope for getting a contractor to investigate.

All the above seem very simple but could help save you a lot stress.

At Mackenzie Smith experience has taught us that good quality properties that are owned by conscientious landlords will almost always attract good quality tenants and lead to a stress free tenancy.

Michael Clarke (MARLA), Lettings Director

(01252) 514000   lettings@mackenziesmith.co.uk

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